Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Nurse donates kidney to boy she grew to love in hospital

A 3-year-old Perry county boy got a special present this holiday season when a nurse who had cared for him donated a kidney to him.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Ben Pratt had to start on dialysis when he was three days old.

Beth Warren, a nurse at Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington, cared for him for the four months he was in the hospital, and the two formed a special bond.

Warren cannot have children but said she loves Ben as if he were her own. So the choice to donate a kidney was easy.

Relatives said that after Ben got home on Nov. 30 from the surgery performed at the Cincinnati Children’s hospital, he felt so much better he didn’t have words to describe it. When someone asked how he felt, he would jump and shake.

Ben’s illness was diagnosed when he was having trouble breathing after he was born. He had a collapsed lung, and doctors quickly figured out his kidneys weren’t working.

The organs hadn’t developed correctly because of a blockage in his bladder, said his mother, Shayla Pratt, who is also a nurse. She and Ben’s father, Greg Pratt, live in Perry County.

It’s a rare condition, and Ben eventually had to be hooked to a dialysis machine 10 to 12 hours each night. Most newborns with a similar condition wouldn’t have survived, because their lungs wouldn’t have developed, Mrs. Pratt said.

“He’s a miracle,” she said.

Warren, 40, who is divorced and could not have children, remained close to Ben and his family after he left the hospital, traveling to their neat home in a hollow at Slemp for birthday parties and other occasions.

“I love that little boy just like I would my own,” Warren told the Herald-Leader.

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